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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

There are few surprises this week on the contemporary best-seller list. The top five is dominated by swans, horoscopes, and aliens (with a few predators thrown into the mix). But there are two debut appearances to note: Cathy Park Hong’s Engine Empire chugs its way onto the best-seller list this week, while Ed Bok Lee’s Whorled spirals in at #20. This week, it’s all about the Small Press list. Darcie Dennigan’s Madame X tops the list. “Many of the poems in Dennigan’s collection are dense, lengthy monologues broken up only by breath-like ellipses and strange circumstances. In addition to themes of gender and religion, there are also questions of religion and sex… The poems are surprising and evocative, ‘to put it wildly.’” Also of note is Stacy Doris’s ‪Fledge: ‪A Phenomenology of Spirit, which might be systematically described in the following way:

“This book stands for:

a) a close translation of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

b) a mainly at arm’s length appropriation of some poems by Paul Celan these being two extremes in language of

c) a log of disasters

d) a register of miracle

e) also this is a bunch of love poems of undying love”

Doris passed away in January of this year, so this marks her first posthumously published book. Finally, Larry Fagin’s Complete Fragments finds its way into the top five. Of Fagin’s work, Miles Champion writes, “we have Cuneiform Press to thank for publishing this long-in-the-works book of Fagin’s wonderful prose poems. This latter form has been Fagin’s primary focus as a poet for much of the last twenty years (it is, astonishingly, almost thirty years since his last collection, the seventeen-page Nuclear Neighborhood), and it is a joy to have the fruits of his researches in this area collected between two covers at last.”


Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, June 8th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.